The DORC Framework:How Small Improvements Lead to Big Wins
“Honey, you just need to go 1% faster then we can catch up with our competitors!“
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The year is 2010, here in the UK we had just held a general election that resulted in a hung parliament. We were also about to witness one of the coldest winters on record, with heavy snow and ice causing widespread disruption to transport and other services.
In sports, The 2010 FIFA World Cup took place in South Africa, and the England football team made it to the second round before being knocked out by Germany..
And The British cycling team was struggling.
They were desperate for a gold medal at the Olympics, something they hadn’t achieved since 1908, and no British cyclist had ever won the Tour de France.
That’s when a man named Dave Brailsford came along and changed everything.
He believed that cyclists could achieve significant results by making small adjustments to every aspect of their lives.
Everything should be improved by just 1%, according to Brailsford, from their training and diet to the pillows they use to sleep on and the massage gel they apply.
And here’s the spoiler! The British cycling team dominated the 2012 Olympics, winning an impressive 70% of the available gold medals, and won the Tour de France in just three years.
What does email marketing have to do with any of this, though?
Well, just as Brailsford improved every aspect of a cyclist’s life to achieve greatness, we too can apply this philosophy to our email marketing campaigns.
Everyone wants their emails to be successful. And just like how the British cycling team achieved greatness through making small, consistent improvements, you too can achieve big results by optimising your email marketing campaign.
While a 1% improvement may not be immediately apparent, it can have a significant impact over time, especially since the benefits accumulate. Instead of fixating on major transformations or solutions, it may be more effective to concentrate on the small details and strive for ongoing progress.
As Brailsford wisely suggests, aiming for constant improvement and building upon each achievement is more valuable than seeking perfection:
“Don’t obsess over being flawless; concentrate on making progress and compounding your gains.”
And small improvements in various aspects of our email marketing campaigns can lead to higher engagement rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.
Introducing the DORC framework
To do this, you need to focus on improving the ‘DORC ‘of your emails, a term we’ve coined which simply stands for:
Deliverability, Openability, Readability, and Clickability.
These four key steps mirror the actions a subscriber takes once they receive your email.
Deliverability ensures that your email reaches their inbox, Openability prompts them to click and read, Readability ensures they understand the message, and Clickability encourages them to take action.
For example, let’s say you’re running an email campaign to promote a new product launch. In your second email, you have a call-to-action button that says “Buy Now,” but the click-through rate is lower than expected.
To make a small change with a potentially bigger impact, you switch the CTA text to “Learn More” and add a sentence below the button that says “No purchase necessary, learn more about our new product.”
As a result, the CTR increases by 20%, generating more interest in the product and increasing the chances of a conversion.
Multiply your changes for bigger wins
Small improvements like this can have a significant impact on your email campaign’s success, especially when these changes are combined – and the further “upstream” you make changes, the more things multiply!.
For example, improving your openability such as your email subject lines as well as deliverability, Will increase the number of people who receive and open your email, leading to more clicks and conversions – even if you make no changes to the actual email..
To put it into perspective, you would get 72 clicks if you sent an email to 1000 recipients and 90% of them received it, 50% opened it, 80% read it, and 20% clicked on a link.
However, if you make a few minor adjustments to the delivery and open rates alone, , you could increase the number of people who receive and open your email. . So, if you send that altered email to 1000 people but improve the delivery and open rates, now with 95% of them receiving it and 70% opening it, you would get 106 clicks – all without even touching the email itself.
That’s an increase of over 30 clicks just by improving the delivery and open rates!
Remember to think small!
By continually making small improvements and focusing on the DORC of your emails, you can optimise your email campaign for better results.
So, if you want to achieve big results with your email marketing campaign, adopt the philosophy of making small, consistent improvements, just like the British cycling team did.
How to utilise the DORC Framework in your email campaigns
Here’s some examples of some small changes you can make to each aspect of DORC (Deliverability, Openability, Readability, and Clickability) and the outcome you can expect.
Small Change: Remove inactive subscribers from your email list.
Result: This small change can improve deliverability rates by reducing the number of bounces and spam complaints, and increasing engagement rates with active subscribers.
Small Change: Add a clear and prominent unsubscribe link in your emails.
Result: This small change can reduce the number of spam complaints and improve your sender reputation, leading to better deliverability rates.
Small Change: Personalise your subject lines by adding the recipient’s name or location.
Result: This small change can increase the open rate by making the email feel more personalised and relevant to the recipient.
Small Change: Optimise your preheader text (the first line of text that appears in the email) to give recipients a compelling reason to open the email.
Result: This small change can increase the open rate by providing additional context to the subject line and incentivising the recipient to open the email.
Small Change: Use bullet points and short paragraphs to break up text.
Result: This small change can improve readability by making the email easier to scan and digest, leading to higher engagement and click-through rates.
Small Change: Use images strategically to break up text and reinforce key messages.
Result: This small change can improve readability and engagement by making the email more visually appealing and conveying important information through visual elements.
Small Change: Use clear and concise language for your calls-to-action (CTAs).
Result: This small change can increase click-through rates by making it clear to the recipient what action they should take and why.
Small Change: Use a contrasting colour for your CTA button to make it stand out.
Result: This small change can increase click-through rates by drawing attention to the CTA and making it more noticeable.
Overall, these small changes may seem minor, but they can have a significant impact on the success of your email marketing campaign.
Small improvements can make a significant impact on the success of your email marketing campaigns, just as Dave Brailsford improved every aspect of a cyclist’s life to achieve greatness.
Focusing on the DORC (Deliverability, Openability, Readability, and Clickability) of your emails can lead to higher engagement rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.
By making small changes like improving email subject lines, personalising subject lines, optimising preheader text, using bullet points, and using a contrasting colour for your CTA button, you can optimise your email campaigns for better results.
At the end of the day, whether it’s cycling or email marketing, it all boils down to the same thing. Making small continuous improvements and finding ways to optimise performance.
Like a cyclist who must maintain a regular training schedule to build endurance and increase speed,you need to consistently send targeted and relevant emails in order to build a strong relationship with your subscribers.
Just as a cyclist must constantly adjust their training regimen and equipment to stay ahead of the competition,when it comes to email marketing, you must continually adapt your strategies to stay ahead of the ever-changing digital landscape.
Never forget the importance of consistency, attention to detail, and strategic planning for achieving success.
They require a commitment to ongoing effort over time in order to achieve desired results.
Remember, think small and make consistent improvements. By doing so, you can achieve big results and be in for the win just like the British cycling team.
If you want someone to help you with your Mailchimp account, whether it's setting it up, reviving it or just keeping it ticking over, don't be shy.
Cheesy as it sounds, Liz is the biz when it comes to Marketing. She's worked in Marketing for around 20 years when she went to uni and studied Multimedia Technology…That's where her love affair for all things Marketing began. Since then she has worked for household names such as Wickes, The Rank Group, Nuffield Health, Snappy Snaps and Marriot. Not to mention a great variety of B2B and B2c businesses and agencies.
Here at Chimp Answers she deals with all things Marketing focusing on the Content and Copywriting side of things such as Blog posts, Emails and landing pages. Liz is Certified in Direct-Response Copywriting, Google Digital Marketing Fundamentals,Hubspot Inbound Marketing,Hubspot Social Media and of course, Mailchimp Foundations.
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